Robert Joseph Coyne, 92, of Portsmouth, RI, passed on from this life on April 26, 2021 at Village House Nursing Center in Newport.

Robert was born in Newport on January 7, 1929, the youngest child of the late Thomas Augustus Coyne and Mary Elizabeth (Sullivan) Coyne. He graduated from St Mary’s grammar school and De La Salle Academy. He began his military career in 1946 when he enlisted in the US Navy. He was assigned to the USS Whitewood (AG129) and later transferred to the Air Force where he retired in 1970 from Otis Air Force Base at the rank of Senior Master Sergeant. He was also a veteran of the Vietnam War, having served at Bien Hoa Air Base in 1965. Among his many decorations were the Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry.

After his retirement from the military, Bob was employed by the Preservation Society of Newport as the caretaker for the “Breakers” for 30 years.

Robert is survived by his son, Bryan Thomas and his fiancé Fiona Veazey of Monasterevin, County Kildare, Ireland and his care giver for many years, Patricia Stetson. He is also survived by many adoring nephews and nieces, grand nephews and grand nieces, great grandnephews and nieces and one great-great grandniece.

He was the last remaining survivor of The Greatest Generation in the Coyne family. His siblings; Peter, Raymond and Eileen preceded him in death.

A Mass of Christian burial will be held Monday, May 3 at St. Augustin’s Church, corner of Carroll & Harrison Ave, Newport at 10:00am.  Burial with Military Honors will follow at St. Columba Cemetery, 465 Brown’s Ln, Middletown.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Potter League for Animals, 87 Oliphant Ln, Middletown, RI 02842.

Source: O’Neill Hayes Funeral Home

Community Submission

This content has been contributed to What's Up Newp. The views and opinions included within are not necessarily those of What's Up Newp, our contributors, or our advertisers.

We welcome letters to the editor on current local topics. Email them to